Twitter’s Follower Limit – Good or Bad?

Is There a Need to Follow Over 1,000 People in a Day?

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Twitter has had a limit on how many people a user can follow in a day (1,000) in place for some time, and on Monday the company said this limit was not being consistently applied to all accounts, but that it would be from here on out.

In a post on the Twitter Status Blog, the company says there are technical reasons behind the limit, but that it is mainly to discourage spam. Understandable given an increased amount of complaining about spam and a recent wave of worms spreading across Twitter.

Britney Spears Friends and Followers"Also, it is unlikely that anyone can actually read tweets from thousands of accounts which makes the mass following activity disingenuous," says Twitter. "We understand that there may be exceptions where mass following is needed in excess of the daily limit: for example, some API applications or for the ability to exchange direct messages. There are also some who think it’s simply polite to follow back other accounts."

Twitter encourages users who feel that they fit the bill of such exceptions to leave feedback with @twitter so they can address their needs.

Commentary around the blogosphere regarding Twitter’s follower limit ranges from one side of the spectrum to the other. "It seems Twitter would prefer that these celebrity accounts only follow, say… 93 as Ashton does, rather than the nearly 400,000 Britney Spears follows, which I would guess would be even higher if it weren’t for Twitter’s API troubles," says blogger Louis Gray.

"It’s likely Twitter is issuing this newest limit to try and stop spammers and go after the worms that have recently impacted the system," he adds. "But the ecosystem that has helped the service grow to such high visibility is getting impacted.

Andy Merrett talking about the subject at Performancing says, "Now, I have recently subscribed to the viewpoint that it is good to reciprocate follows – however I do so manually. Granted, I only get a handful of new followers each day at present so it’s no great problem, but it does mean I have a better chance at weeding out spammers from the outset."

"I just can’t get my head around the concept that anyone getting over one thousand follows per day can possibly keep up following them all back," Andy adds.

Would you ever have a need to follow a thousand Twitterers in a day? What do you think about Twitter’s limit? Talk about it.

Twitter’s Follower Limit – Good or Bad?
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  • http://www.internetmarketingtip.us Susan

    While I can understand why you would want to have thousands of followers I don’t understand why anyone would want to follow thousands of people.

    Call me an impolite Twitterer since I don’t follow everyone that follows me. I do check their tweets however I don’t follow them unless they tweet about things I’m interested in. And I thought that was how Twitter was suppose to be used.

    This concept that you have to follow your followers just escapes me since I don’t see how anyone would ever have the time to read the tweets of thousands of people every day. And if no one is reading the tweets then we’re just filling cyberspace with useless noise.


  • Guest

    If it’s REALLY about how many followers you can reasonably keep up with and really ‘follow’ it would be a much much smaller number than 1,000 don’t you think?

    Fact is, Twitter likes the marketing people and the cap of ‘only’ 1000 new follows per day impacts only the most egregious spammers in the system.

  • http://www.xbox360repair.us Sam

    Still don’t get it why they need to impose this limit..If I can’t follow 1000 people but 10 I will only follow 10. No need for the limit if you ask me…
    If I can follow 1232 people well then let me do that, right?

  • http://www.side-site.com Bryan Quinn

    The only people that I can imagine would want to follow 1000 people per day are celebrities. And I guess this this only to be polite. It is unlikely that they could keep track of such a following or would want to.

  • http://kovshenin.com kovshenin

    As somebody mentioned before, the only tweeople that’d need a limit for more that a thousand followers per day are celebrities and CNN like accounts. There may be a reason to reduce that limit to ~ 500, still would be okay for me.

  • http://speakingbadger.com speakingbadger

    First, off lets be clear… who cares what we think… the service is a free service and there are basically no ads… shouldn’t they as a company being able to restrict whatever they want… who are we… users and the worst that happens, is if they change things too much, people leave and the lose users…

    Second, personally, I don’t think there should be a limit, because, who cares how many people I follow in a day?

    Third, I understand why it’s considered rude to not follow people that follow you, it’s just a courteousy thing and you can automate it, which is actually a good opportunity to DM the person and with the right message, you can make money from it.

    Then last, with as many third party apps as their are for Twittter, there are ways to weed through the tweets and find the relevant data you want. Despite how many people you are following. Perhaps someday Twitter will come up with a better way in the future too…

    I get it should be some popularity contest… but who are we to decide how other people do what they do… and as a business it’s about creating relationships and creating reasons for people to want to follow you… Ever from personal approach, how much time to you spend reading twitter anyway… even if you have less followers..

    I mean lets be realistic about it. More followers, more people you are following, the higher the chances are you can capitalize on it… as long as you are earning your followers trust…


  • Usman Latif

    I am really confused about the following limits now. Earlier it used to be that I could follow 10% more than number of my followers. By limiting following to 1000 per day makes sense but does that mean that the accounts having less than 3000 followers (just an example) can now follow 1000 people as well? That is much more than the 110% of the followers. Otherwise, earlier according to the 1.1 ratio or 110%, an account having 3000 followers could only follow 3300 people max.

    Can anyone here please clarify this point to me?

    • Guest

      I have had several accounts Suspended, because I was just following more people than the number that followed me! Now I can have 1000 per day! This is changing the venue quite a bit, and I am glad I read this article.

  • http://www.bruteforceseo.com Pete

    Twitter is Creating online Celebs

    this new medium is actually creating new online celebs in the twitterverse.

    This is a totally new phenomenon, due to the ability to follow so many people..

    why kill it off before its even born?

    If its not broken dont fix it.

    Worms are a totally different story, non related to the following issue.



  • http://lastmed.com Guest

    If you just glance through what the people you follow had to say, noting keywords, etc., and stopping to read only what is relevant at that time, then it is easy to follow more than 1000 per day. Nobody reads everything everybody has to say, just like nobody listens to everybody in a crowded room.

    • http://blog.hichamaged.net/ Hicham Maged

      Well Said! Who have the time to follow even if 100 people per day? This is generally speaking, but technically one, if this is to limit abusing the system, I’m with no doubt.

  • http://www.audiostocks.com Ronald Garner

    Great commentary, but let’s remember, ultimately it’s Twitters platform; they have the right to do what they feel is in the best interest of their organization.

    It’s an issue that affects so few of us, so their decision is likely the right one for Twitter. Furthermore, they did offer an exception policy. Good for them!

    BTW, great story, Chris. Thanks, and keep bringing great content to us!

  • http://www.parvoindogs.com parvo

    I’m not into Twitter so I can’t confirm of what I’ve read before. Anyways, the post cited that Twitter is already into a paying scheme based on the account’s followers. Assuming everything is true, I believe, that could be the reason why they came out with such limit.

  • http://www.ademartin.com/ Ade Martin

    Twitter is fast becoming a spammers paradise so lower the cap to 100 per day. In the name of Zeus, who can keep up with following 1000 every day unless it’s an auto system? Auto = Spam

    Marketers are selling Twitter products promising huge money making lists and easy money and the latest nonsense product is building hundreds upon hundreds of Twitter accounts automatically.

    The problem with all this automation is that it is turning Twitter into a really crappy classified ad site. Sure, it’s easy enough to unfollow at the moment, but as the auto systems become more prolific we will have more and more beggars whining for us to buy their budget holidays, loans and other garbage.

    We will be logging into Twitter and having to clear out all the spam before we can do anything, just like our email accounts.

    Let Twitter decide on a number they feel is normal for the system to be used as they originally envisaged. Anything over that number should be charged for – you have to pay other venues to advertise after all.

    For celebrities Twitter is just an Ego Boost for their vanity. Some even have Twitter managers so it’s not out of order to expect them to fork out some cash to help with the Twitter bandwidth.

    Just my 2c and present thoughts

  • http://twitter.com/sharonhayes Sharon Hayes

    Many of us on Twitter have built followings *because* we reciprocate on follows. I think a better/more sensible move would be to allow unlimited followbacks (ie so you can reciprocate to those who follow you first) and a limit to a more reasonable number on proactive follows.

  • http://twitter.com/LarryWentz Larry Wentz

    I agree exactly with what Sharon Hayes says –

    “unlimited followbacks (ie so you can reciprocate to those who follow you first) and a limit to a more reasonable number on proactive follows”

    It is very frustrating for me to not immediately reciprocate with “most” new followers because of the limits …. I feel like I’m rejecting them if I can’t follow them back. People utilize Twitter for different reasons & establishing many relationships with “like-minded” people is a reason I use Twitter. Yes – it is a crowded room of voices but I want to hear those voices.

    I do not like the idea of Twitter giving certain people exceptions to the rule as it is “unfair”. We all need to be on the same page …. no one is more worthy than another.

  • http://www.foleyinternetmarketing.com Dan Foley

    I tend to believe that Twitter is attempting to control spam and worms and doubt I could physically follow more than 1000 per day.

  • Guest

    Nit Twits need to get on their real life if they ever hope to have one.

  • http://adigrahito.blogspot.com Grahito Electronic

    Limitation on twitter I think is realistic because every people to follow twitter have many goal and may different for every body. Limitation may using time to add or submit. 10 per hours or may using other method.

  • Margaret McKenzie Halliwell

    They are just people like u and me and have just as much right as the rest of us to go onto sites that we go all go on.
    lots of people like certain celebs and like to know everything about these people, some could be just nut cases.
    Good luck to those people who get all these hits whether celebs buisness people or joe bloggs
    GOODLUCK to them

  • http://www.uggon.com uggboots

    I have had several accounts Suspended, because I was just following more people than the number that followed me! Now I can have 1000 per day! This is changing the venue quite a bit, and I am glad I read this article.

    • http://www.TheInternetGlassesCompany.co.uk Guest

      I can understand why twitter would want to controll this, i got most of my initial followers from “aggressive” following (as they put it) … but then im not a celebraty, and finding a decent numbre of followers when your first start isnt easy. Like i said, i understand why they wnat to do it…. im just not sure there isnt a better way.

      The Internet Glasses Company

  • http://potpolitics.com John Sullivan

    Facebook and twitter to me are useless actually
    I don’t have “suckers” I want to scam and the REAL
    friends I do have I talk with in real life.
    People are pathetic I hate all those Gurus I’d like to >>> LOL
    I’m a real person with a real blog :)
    I just wrote about your site and how awesome it really is on my most recent post but DONT tell anyone thanks
    The video section is Killler :)

  • http://www.weboverhauls.com/ Dennis

    Because of spammers, the limit is definitely a good thing. There’s no way a ‘normal’ user can follow 1,000 Twitter accounts (maybe even limit to 500). I also think a limit should be set on how many status updates a user can make per day, say, 30 or 40. As a general rule, it’s good not to do more than 10 or 15 per day.

  • http://www.liveambitions.com Steve Baik

    The question is really about “should an individual have the freedom or right to follow as many as they want?” Whether its effective to follow thousands or not, that’s another question.

  • http://www.thepleasuresallmine.com Guest

    Seems to me twitter is packed with celebs with hundreds of followers each-not sure is was for the normal working class citizen like us as who wants to know what i have done today?.

  • http://www.awesomewordpresstheme.com/ Premium Wordpress Themes

    As long as there’s no automated email notification in my inbox informing I get new followers on twitter, then it would be fine.

  • http://www.twitters.in Twitter Quitters

    Want to know why people are upset? checkout twitters.in

  • Greg

    I think that it is fine that Twitter has a 2,000 follower limit. I also think that if a person wants to on his or her account, he or she could set the limit of followers to whatever he or she wants to, with 2,000 being the top limit of course.

  • http://twitter.com/lena_miyajima lena

    follw me !!

  • Mike

    Its not that you NEED to follow 1,000 people, its that you may WANT to follow 1,000 people. For example I run a fairly popular website that posts daily news. Currently I have about 1,000 followers. Do I need to return the favor and follow them as well? Not really, but to be polite I do. Twitter should just leave it up to us how many people. Kill the spammers with some type of akismet type script.

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